Holly Tucker was voted off "The Voice" on Tuesday on a single-elimination show that reduced the top six to the top five ahead of next week's semifinals. Tucker's ouster was not terribly surprising. In fact, it was highly predictable. Though the Baylor University marching-band saxophonist had a powerful voice and good-girl demeanor, she wasn't as charismatic or vocally exciting as the other young female country singers in the competition, Team Adam's Amber Carrington and her own fellow Team Blake member Danielle Bradbery.
Able to bring to her music religious fervor as well as "attitude," as her coach, Blake Shelton, put it, Tucker was less adept at connecting with her audience in anything but the most shallow way. She was concerned about her looks, driven to share her faith, happy to kick up her heels -- a loving daughter and perhaps, before she left school, a dedicated student (at least she knew the school cheer) -- but that's about as deep as we got with her.
Still, there was no joy in watching the young woman dissolve into tears when she learned her time on "The Voice" had come to an end. Thankfully, Big Daddy figure Shelton was there to offer a shoulder. There, there, Holly, it really will be OK.
The evening wasn't all sad goodbyes though. It also brought the return of last season's winner, Cassadee Pope, who sang her new single, "Wasting All These Tears," and got a very sweet welcome-back hug from Carson Daly. (This show, so warm.) Pope has improved since her tenure on the show. She's touring the summer with Rascal Flatts and seems poised for genuine musical success.
The top six also teamed up for duets, but none more memorably than Carrington and Bradbery, whose rendition of "Eternal Flame" showed just how stunning both their voices are.
How will America choose between them, when it comes down to it? And do any of the other three contenders -- Michelle Chamuel, the Swon Brothers and Sasha Allen -- charming and talented as they all are, have a shot? Maybe Chamuel?
What do you think?